Beiträge

Vienna: PVC Material restrictions removed from guidelines

The City of Vienna has implemented its announcement to amend its housing promotion guidelines, as reported a few weeks ago. With the publication of the updated regulations for new buildings and renovations on June 5, 2018, these have now coming into effect.

Thus, in addition to many technical criteria, the elimination of the previous minimum building ecology requirements is a great success. All material restrictions (including PVC) were deleted. This means that the focus of Vienna’s housing subsidy is once again clearly focusing on energy and CO2 savings.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues in Austria and all those involved who have contributed to this success.

 

Vienna revised regulations on PVC windows

In Vienna (Austria), there are concrete plans to revise existing regulations on new construction and renovation measures. In the future, it will be easier for building owners to obtain subsidies despite rising construction costs. According to this, PVC windows will be recently promoted in new buildings and renovations. These were previously excluded from support „for environmental reasons“.

Thanks to newer technologies and innovation, the use of PVC windows is now harmless, said Michael Ludwig, City Councillor for Housing Construction and, since May 24th, new Mayor of Vienna in an interview with a local newspaper.

Stable growth expected for the window industry in 2018

Window sales in Germany are expected to increase again in 2018 by 2.8 percent – measured by the number of windows actually installed. This is predicted by the current study of the four leading industry associations, which was prepared in cooperation with the publisher Heinze. This means that around 14.6 million window units could have been sold by the end of this year. The recently raised overall economic forecasts and the continuing high demand for residential construction due to immigration support this development.

Stable growth is expected again in the new construction and renovation, residential and non-residential construction segments in 2018. 57.1 percent of all windows produced are expected to be used for the renovation or energetic refurbishment of existing buildings in 2018; the market volume in this area will increase by around 2.2 percent. The number of windows used in new construction will increase by 3.6 percent and thus reach a market share of 42.9 percent.

In terms of frame materials, the proportion of wooden windows is expected to remain fairly constant at 15.1 percent in 2018. PVC windows will also maintain their high market share. With growth almost identical to that of the market as a whole, their share is expected to be around 57.6 percent.

PVC Windows: Market Share of 57.7% in Germany

According to the estimates of the four industry associations VFF, pro-K, FV S+B and BF, positive overall economic conditions and rising residential construction lead to positive impulses on the German window market. The slight upward trend that has been continuing since 2007 is thus continuing. Based on the 13.8 million window units (WU) in 2016, sales of windows in Germany are expected to increase by 2.9 % to 14.2 million WU in 2017, according to a Heinze study. In 2018, an even stronger increase of 3.3% to 14.8 million WU is considered possible.

With regard to frame materials, the four industry associations expect only minor shifts in the current year. Experts expect that PVC windows will reach a market share of 57.7 %. The industry associations are also expecting increasing growth rates in the field of exterior doors. PVC doors will account for 32.8% of unit sales in 2018. For comparison: aluminium doors 32.5%, timber doors 25.3%, other materials 9.4%.

Window Imports Are Strongly Increasing

According to data recorded by the German Association of Windows and Facades (Verband Fenster + Fassade – VFF), the number of windows produced in Germany in 2016 reached a total of 11,944 million window units. A good half of this overall production quantity, namely 6.454 million window units, were PVC windows, which can be compared with figures of 6.492 million window units in 2015 and 6.707 million window units in 2014.

While window exports slightly decreased in 2016 (from 9.3% in 2014 to 9.0% in 2016), window imports increased, with a total of 2.94 million window units imported to Germany last year. This total can be compared with figures of 2.618 million window units in 2015 and 2.379 million window units in 2014. Around 1.76 million window units, which equates to 60% of all imported windows in 2016, came from Poland. 75.2% of these window units were for plastic windows.
At the beginning of May, the VFF presented its current window sales figures for the previous year, which revealed that a total of eight million window units were sold in Germany in 2016.

PVC Window Sales in Germany increase

In 2016, window sales in Germany increased by 3.3 percent to a total of around 13.8 million window units. This is the result of a continuously updated study conducted by the market research institute Heinze, which was produced in cooperation with the four German industry associations VFF, Pro-K, FV S+B and BF and was recently presented. According to the study, growth was recorded in the case of all frame materials last year.

Sales of plastic windows reached a total of 8.0 million window units, which represents a market share of 57.7 percent. Wooden windows achieved a market share of 15.1 percent thanks to total sales of 2.1 million window units, while wood and metal constructions achieved 1.2 million window units and therefore 9.0 percent of the overall market. Sales of metal windows increased to 2.5 million window units, which represents a market share of 18.2 percent. Around 65.8 percent of the window units sold were used in residential buildings, while 34.2 percent were installed in non-residential buildings. In the current year 2017, the industry associations expect to see yet another increase in sales volume of 3.9 percent, resulting in a total of 14.4 million window units.

The city of Düsseldorf permits funding of PVC windows

The city of Düsseldorf has recently agreed on a set of reworked guidelines on the funding of measures for the renovation and modernisation of buildings within the capital city of the federal state, as part of the funding program “Eco-friendly living and working in Düsseldorf.” Under point 5 “construction materials”, specifications for materials are laid down by the Environmental Office of the city. According to these specifications, PVC windows will now also be included in funding programs, as long as the manufacturer can provide evidence that at least 60 percent recycled PVC has been used in the manufacturing process.

The acceptance of PVC into the funding guidelines represents a great success for the industry, even if the hurdle has been set very high with the requirement of 60 percent recycled material. The fact that PVC windows are now for the first time being funded in Düsseldorf is renewed proof that the intensive lobbying of the AGPU and its partners has paid off. This successful step has now been achieved thanks to numerous rounds of discussion with local decision makers. In making this change, the city of Düsseldorf is following a trend started by a number of other cities and local authorities, to amend their guidelines and once again permit the inclusion of PVC.  However, we are not amused about these funding guidelines, as PE, PP and PUR windows are also being funded although they have no market relevance and they contain no recycled materials at all!